Why you need a password manager (like 1Password) in 2020

Passwords are the pain of every user but almost every interaction you have with online services requires them. How often do you find you are being asked to come up with a password on the spot but yet remember them many months down the line.

Security Experts will agree that they need to be ‘strong’ and ‘unique’  and due to the ever-increasing number of data-breaches should also be changed as soon as they are potentially compromised.

As it turns out, to do this without generating a whole load of additional security risks by making notes in places you shouldn’t, can be a real challenge.

Our options when it comes to password creation tend to look something like this…

  1. Use the same password you used the other day (just this once of course!)
  2. Commit yourself to forgotten password recovery system hell by creating a unique and secure password without making a note of it.
  3. Employ the help of a tool designed to manage this whole thing for you.

Many of us give in to convenience and end up duplicating passwords, but at the risk of labouring the point, this really isn’t going to end well.

Still not convinced?

One site that highlights the dangers of duplicating passwords is ‘Have I been pwned’ which features a long list of companies who’ve suffered data breaches. It’s more a case of if, and not when – so being able to quickly limit the damage when a breach happens by changing just one password could be the thing that saves your bacon.

OK OK, I’ve got it.

So it’s agreed, we must listen to the experts – strong and unique is the way forward.

This means we’re going to need help with managing a large collection of often 100’s of passwords.

So, enter password managers – handy little utilities which take all of the legwork out of creating, storing and managing secure passwords. There are numerous great products out there that will do the job, but having researched a handful of the top ones, the one that stood out to us and the one we recommend is 1Password from Agilebits. 

So what does 1Password do?

1Password is not just an encrypted notepad with a big list of sites and passwords it’s much more useful than that.

Automatically Generate unique strong passwords

As soon as you need a new password simply click on the generate password option and copy the result. You can quickly choose a matching password policy to help generate compatible passwords for the sites you are using, but without ever having to remember the password generated

Automates the storing of login details

Whenever you either create a new login on a website or update any details the 1Password browser add-in will pop up and invite you to store those credentials so you don’t have to remember to.  used in conjunction to the password generator means you very rarely ever need to know the passwords you are using and makes it quick and easy to update account details as needed.

Auto-populate login details on sites

Visit a website that you have login credentials for and 1 Password will show you the login accounts you have saved for that sire under the browser add-on, with one click the details are auto-populated and login initiated, without anyone ever seeing the password in plain text.

Browser plugins

Plugs are available for all the main browsers so its quick and easy to get access to your passwords when you need them without having to open and unlock another application. Once logged in to the browser a plugin the session can be set to remain open to allow quick access to other login details.

Mobile apps

Having access to all your login details on the move is one of the most useful features of 1password. the Android and iOS apps make this extremely easy and if your device has a fingerprint scanner you don’t even have to remember a single password to unlock your vault and enter login details directly into websites and apps on the device.,

Watchtower reports

After importing your old browser save passwords into 1 password or after adding several manual login details its worth keeping an eye on the security reports that help highlight areas where you can further improve your security. For example, you can see duplicate sites where the same passwords are used ( never a good idea) but also alert when one of the websites you use gets compromised. this is a great way to be alerted to change those details asap.

Not just passwords

So you now have a great locked vault full of passwords, but it does not stop there. 1password is an ideal secure store for many more of your secure information such as bank card details, password and identity details, software licences, even just simple notes that you might need quick but secured access to.

Protected using a high level of encryption

1 Password uses AES-256 bit encryption and uses multiple techniques to protect your data at rest and in transit.  only you know your Master password and this alongside a security key generated on your device locks your 1Password vault from prying eyes. Not even 1Password themselves can see your information.

All you have to do is remember one strong master password

So what does it cost?

1Password is available in a variety of flavours, including a version for individuals and one for families with up to 5 users billed annually. This unlocks all features in all versions of the app, includes web access to your passwords, automatic syncing, sharing, permission control, and 1 GB of document storage.

For companies who require more advanced features such as sharing groups of login credentials between teams of users as well as a single administration console, there are three business plans available billed annually to completely bespoke packages for an enterprise.


1Password does a great job of easing the burden that is password management and although there’s a small amount of transition work involved to import old passwords, it didn’t take me long to reach a point where logins for the most frequently visited sites were updated

You’ll find loads of information along with a 30-day trial on the AgileBits site. so I highly recommend heading over there and taking a look for yourself.

How to unlock troublesome Zip backups in BackupAssist?

Since the introduction of GDPR and related regulations an increasing number of BackupAssist customers are looking to tighten up security on their backups especially backups using the File Archiving engine by enabling encrypted zip backups.

To help meet these requirements the BackupAssist developers have increased the privacy of encrypted File Archiving backups in BackupAssist 10.4.

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Amazon Lightsail – Removing The Last Barrier Between Your Small Business and The Cloud?

Amazon Lightsail

Managing your overheads.

It’s just one of the endless art forms you need to master when you take the decision to become the owner of a small business.

In an ideal world, your IT expenses at least, would all be handled by a wonderfully competent outsourced IT support firm. Failing that, a trusted team of dedicated IT staff.

In my experience of the size of companies we tend to work with, it’s quite possible you’re not in possession of either of those things, and that can bump IT-related decisions down the priority order occasionally.

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How to Back Up to Amazon S3 Using BackupAssist

BackupAssist S3 How To Guide

On-site or off-site backup.

Which is right for your business?

When you’re thinking about the backup approach that best fits your small business, committing solely to one option is unlikely to be the silver bullet you might like.

However, your choices may not be quite as binary as you could be led to believe either.

What if there was a way to keep a local backup for really quick recovery of files, applications, and servers, that also combined the security and reliability of a cloud giant like Amazon?

Enter BackupAssist and the Cloud Backup Add-on!

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Off-site Backup to a NAS Device Using BackupAssist (Synology Example)

BackupAssist Synology WebDAV setup

In case you missed the announcement, BackupAssist recently added WebDAV to the suite of backup job types the software is able to support. Intended for those who wish to back up their data to an off-site destination, the protocol enables admins to create encrypted, incremental backups to either a third party hosting company, another Windows server or a NAS device.

The latter is a popular choice, particularly for the smaller business. They’re a good option because once the hardware’s paid for, there’s no monthly recurring charge as you’d tend to expect from a cloud storage provider. Also, the portability of the small units means they can be ‘seeded’ to locally and then moved. In most cases, you have physical access too, which means you’re not relying on an Internet connection for your data in disaster recovery scenarios

In this post, I focus on the steps for configuring one of the more common NAS devices I come into contact with, the Synology. The requirements will be the same for other brands, however, the exact steps and screenshots will of course differ. Continue reading

Why You Need A Password Manager (like 1Password)

Alright, so it’s time to log in to that site you’ve not used in a while. 

Username and password? Yep, no problem…

‘Login unsuccessful’


….okay, what about B1ngoWozH1sNamo21?

‘Login unsuccessful’


It’s a familiar tale in this wonderful digital age in which we live – we’re surrounded by a bottomless pool of amazing websites and services, all climbing over one another to improve our lives, however, every one of the darned things requires a registration.

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Backing Up To Microsoft Azure Using BackupAssist

It’s been a couple of months since we announced the launch of BackupAssist v10 and its super efficient new cloud backup engine. The significance of the new engine is that it unlocks the possibility of using public cloud giants AWS and Azure as backup destination options.

While the BackupAssist side of things is typically easy to configure, I’ve had a few requests for help navigating Azure’s configuration options, so in this article, I’ll be walking through the steps as they are today.

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